Open House 2023: behind the scenes of Jean Rousseau’s Atelier-Boutique

Let’s take a glimpse behind the workshop doors.

From June 22 to 24, Jean Rousseau’s atelier-boutique in New York opened its doors for a three-day Open House. Visitors were invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of the workshop where Jean Rousseau’s watch straps are handcrafted, right at the heart of New York, and to discover new designs.

During a VIP evening event, followed by two days open to all lovers of watches and fine leathers, Jean Rousseau customers had the unique opportunity to follow through each step of the craft with the experts who make the pride of the Maison, and to explore the stocks of leathers and skins for themselves. Guided tours in small groups allowed them to discover the history of the House, and our craftsmen’s most prized techniques.

“Some of our customers had never visited our Fifth Avenue atelier-boutique since we moved from Madison Avenue in 2021,” says Julia Marguier, who organized the event. They were able to meet the craftsmen who make our bespoke straps, from scratch.”

An immersive workshop experience

Even better, each visitor was invited to participate in the making of their own strap, with expert help from the craftsmen. Jean Rousseau has always offered the possibility to choose a specific skin for a bespoke strap, but the experience became entirely immersive during these three special days: after choosing the leather and thread, visitors were invited to cut the leather themselves.

As they moved around the workshop, they were impressed by the hundreds of possibilities offered by the wide variety of leathers, colors, shapes and threads. “That’s my only problem with Jean Rousseau,” one customer joked during the tour: every time I go and pick up a strap I ordered, I can’t keep myself from designing another one.”

Unpublished prototypes

This Open House offered another irresistible opportunity: original leather types and dyes, never published before because they were designed as unique prototypes in recent years, were offered to guests. Visitors were treated to a variation of the Graffiti collection in red, green and yellow, blue skins iridescent with pink, a flashy green and yellow alligator… and a sneak preview of the new colors in the Versailles collection, due out in December 2023.

Pierre-Louis Follet, Jean Rousseau’s Director of Operations in the United States, comments: “We’re delighted that these exclusive products aren’t just sitting in our drawers, and that we can offer them exclusively to our customers. Each strap is a singular demonstration of our traditional know-how and innovative mindset: a unique piece of craftsmanship that will never be seen on anyone else’s wrist.”

This Open House 2023 was a great first, that could well be repeated in the years to come – at the New York boutique workshop, and why not at those in Tokyo, Paris and London. We hope to see you there next year!

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